Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Plastic Ring VS The Diamond Ring: Small Things Matter.

Yesterday, I was heading to one of my favorite coffee shops;  East Village Coffee Lounge, to meet my friend, Alison.
I like that coffee shop because it is warm and inviting. The baristas there take their time to know you and strive to make you happy. I have to admit that I like the décor too: it is rustic chic. The stone fireplace adds an extra touch of elegance to the place.  
I entered the shop, chatted with Dylan, the barista, while he was making my velvety soy latte. My latte was ready in minutes. Dylan took the time to create a “ heart” shaped foam.

My Soy Latte

I sat on the red chair facing the fireplace thinking about what Alison would talk about. I haven’t seen her for a while; we were both busy.

Where Aly and I sat. 
“Here she comes”, I said greeting her. “ Hi Aly, I haven’t seen you for ages!” I followed
“ Yes, I  know. I have a lot to share. Wait. Let me get my Jasmine tea,” Aly replied. 
Just like my latte, her tea was ready in seconds. As she sat on the other chair, I noticed a certain look in her eyes,  like "I have something to tell you” kind of a look.
“So, what is going on with you?” I asked.
“I met someone,” She said.
“I am happy for you, Aly! That is great.” Before I finished my sentence, a sad look popped in Aly’s eyes.
“What’s wrong?’I asked.
“ He is afraid that he is not going to measure up,” Aly explained.
"What? Measure up! What’s going on?” I was surprised.
“Wait a bit, let me tell you the whole story,” Said Aly.
"Okay! Let's hear it," I said.
Aly started talking about a tall, handsome, and energetic man that she met recently. It was clear that he liked her, and Aly liked him too. However, the man thought that he needed to buy her dresses, jewelry, dine her and wine her.
I asked her, " what is the problem, is he employed?"
" Yes. But, he thinks he needs to buy me the fancy dresses that I like to buy or the stone jewelry that I wear," Aly explained.
" Aly, this is ridiculous! You aren't that kind of person. You know, the one who thinks about how much the gift costs. You appreciate the idea and gesture. Where on earth did he get that impression?" I asked.
" He looks at what I wear," Aly explained.  
Aly, like any other woman on earth, bought some fancy dresses and unique jewelry. She also talked to him about the places where she dined and wined. The man was terrified, feeling that he couldn't provide for all of these expenses.  
I knew that Aly doesn’t care about these things, and they mean less than zero to her. However, her boyfriend distanced himself from her. Unfortunately, he didn't listen. Aly was heart broken.  
Aly’s story reminded of Jeffery’s: another friend of mine. Jeffery paid more than US$6,000 to take his wife to a beautiful resort that she picked to spend one week together. After one day, his wife asked him to go back home! With a lot of disappointment, frustration, and confusion, Jeffery canceled the rest of the trip and took his wife back home. Later, he told me that throughout the five-hour flight, he and his wife didn’t say a word to each other.
What is missing? Why is Aly’s boyfriend willing to suffer the loss of someone he clearly likes because of minor issues like clothes and jewelry? Why did Jeffery’s wife drag her husband from coast to coast, make him pay that much money on a resort she picked, just to leave the next day? 
You can go ahead and say that Aly is better off without her boyfriend. But that will not mend her broken heart. You can say that Jeffery’s wife is selfish, ungrateful and insensitive. But that will not make Jeffery a happy man.
What men, generally, don’t understand is that small things matter to women more than any diamond ring or Dior dress. Women are touched and moved by something simple such as a plastic ring that says “kiss me,” heart-shaped candy, a T-shirt that says “ hug me” or  a coffee mug that says “ Miss You.”  
I am not saying that the diamond ring is worthless and women don’t care about it. They do appreciate it. But the diamond ring is not what sustains a relationship: it is not what keeps women around.
Small gestures sustain the relationship, give it warmth, and keep it alive.  
When couples sit around the fireplace, they usually remember the funny moments; the small and silly things that made them laugh. They don’t recall what was in their bank accounts or how much they spent on a vacation.
When these small gestures are missing from a relationship, women try to attract attention by asking for the diamond ring, the expensive vacation, the fancy dress, simply to fill the void created by lacking the little things that matter.
However, material things can’t substitute for the lack of warmth in a relationship. Oftentimes, the material items create more void and emptiness after obtaining them. Perhaps, Jeffery’s wife felt that void on the second day of their vacation. 
I didn’t tell Aly that she is better off without her boyfriend. I also didn’t tell her that there is a lot of "fish in the sea" and sooner rather than later she will meet the guy who deserves her. Instead, I gave her a hug and I told her “ You will get your plastic ring soon.” She laughed when I explained to her what I meant by the " plastic ring."
I was glad that I made Aly laugh, even though she was sad.

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